Importance of Voting in FSA County Committee Elections

Importance of Voting in FSA County Committee Elections

Importance of Voting in FSA County Committee Elections

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

By now most producers should have received their USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Election ballots. Washington Farm Service Agency Executive Director Judy Olson explains why it is so important for farmers and rancher to return their ballots.

OLSON: FSA is unique in the federal government that we have the ability for producers to elect three to five person county committees to ensure fair and equitable administration of our FSA programs.

To be eligible to vote, producers must participate or cooperate in any Farm Service Agency program. Olson reiterates that this is a wonderful opportunity for producers to have input into FSA and to represent producers in their county and area.

OLSON: The farmers and ranchers who are elected to the county committees help us deliver our FSA programs at the local level. This means that they can use their knowledge and their judgements to make decisions on commodity support programs as it pertains in their county, conservation programs, insurance and crop disaster type programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.

In addition, Olson says FSA County Committees can actually hear appeals from local farmers and ranchers who feel they may have not been treated correctly, or perhaps face ineligibility due to a late signature. The deadline for producers to return ballots to their local FSA office is December 1, 2014 . Newly elected county committee members will take office January 1, 2015.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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